Want to make the selling process smooth and easy? When you are getting ready to put your property on the market, there are some things to think about, prepare for, and organize. Here is a short list of nine steps that will help you sell your home with the best results.
1. Price Correctly
Every seller wants to receive as much money as possible when selling their house. However, a listing price that is too high often causes the seller to receive less than a price that is at market value.
If your house is not priced competitively, people looking in your price range will reject your house in favor of other, larger homes for the same price.
Overpricing usually increases time on the market which adds to the carrying costs. Ultimately, many overpriced properties sell below market value.
2. “Showcase” the Home
Buyers look for homes, not houses. They buy the homes in which they could see themselves living in. Owners who fail to make necessary repairs, do not spruce up the inside or outside, touch up the paint and landscaping, or keep it clean and clean scare away potential buyers. Spending a small amount of time and money can often increase a home’s selling price.
3. Give Space to Buyers During Showings
Buying a house is an emotional decision. People like to “try on” a house to see if it is comfortable to them. It is difficult to do so if you follow them around pointing out every improvement that you have made. It may even have the opposite effect that you want, making them feel as though you are intruding on their privacy. Resist the temptation to talk the entire time a buyer is there; let them discover things on their own. Try a tasteful sign posted on a door or wall to point out some hidden amenity that they might miss.
4. Know a “Looker” From a Buyer
“For Sale By Owners” often get more activity than houses listed with an agent; but often a lot of that activity is from “lookers” and not serious buyers. Real estate agents will only bring qualified buyers, and these will be fewer than if you open your front door to anyone who walks down the street.
A qualified buyer is one who is reading, willing, and able to buy your house. We find that most people who go looking at “For Sale By Owner” are just starting to think about moving. They may be good buyers, but they are just six to nine months away from being ready. They do not want to bother an agent quite yet so they call the “By Owner” ads to get a feel for what is available.
Many potential buyers may have a house to sell first, may need to save some more, or may have credit that needs fixing. When everything is in place, that is when they go out looking with an agent. An agent will ask a buyer how much they can really spend for a house, how much they can put down, how good their credit is, how much they can pay each month, and about a dozen more questions like these. Unless your real estate agent finds out all the facts first, you must ask all of these questions before the buyer crosses your threshold. Otherwise, you may have a parade of Sunday afternoon shoppers with a dream of owning a home someday.
5. Know Your Rights and Obligations
Real estate law is extensive and complex. The Contract of Purchase and Sale is a legally binding document. An improperly written contact can cause the sale to fall through, or cost you thousands for repairs, inspections, and remedies for items included or excluded in the offer.
You must be certain which repairs and closing costs you are responsible for. You must know whether the property can legally be sold “as is” and how deed restrictions and local zoning will affect the transaction. If there are defects in your title, or if your property is in conflict with local restrictions, you or your real estate agent must remedy them, or you might have to pay plenty.
6. Sign a Listing Contract With Flexibility
Circumstances can always change, whether it is on the part of the listing agent, or for you, the seller. Some real estate agents refuse to allow their clients to cancel their listings; they have to wait until it expires. In some companies, if your agent is unable to manage your listing, the broker will randomly reassign your listing to someone else in the office.
Always protect yourself by getting a guarantee of performance with the right to cancel. The Eximus Real Estate Team guarantees that we will cancel the listing at any time you wish to do so.
7. Increase the Marketing and Exposure of the Property
The two most obvious marketing tools–open houses and classified ads–are only moderately effective. Surprisingly, less than 1% of homes are sold at an open house. Agents use them to attract future prospects, not to sell your house. Advertising studies show that less than 3% of people purchased their home because they called on an ad, and if a machine answers, most callers hang up without leaving a message.
Here at Eximus, we have an extensive marketing plan that makes sure that your property is marketed to as many prospective buyers as possible. We will also be there every time the phone rings.
The right agent will employ a broad spectrum of marketing activities, emphasizing the ones they believe will work best for you and your property. There are dozens of effective ways to find buyers than just open houses and advertising.
8. Get an Accurate Market Value for Your Home
An appraisal is an opinion of value for a certain purpose. If the lender wants to lend you the money, they are motivated to have the appraisal come in high. The appraiser may ignore lower priced foreclosures or distress sales in order to justify the higher value.
However, a buyer in the real world will not ignore these properties. They are your competitors when you try to sell. Do not make the mistake of thinking that the value that you were told six months ago when you re-financed is what a real buyer would pay. Ask your agent for all the “solds” in your area and then decide.
9. Choose the Best Real Estate Agent for the Right Reasons
In order to find the real estate agent who is right for you, you may want to interview several. The quality of your home selling experience is dependent upon your skill at selecting the person best qualified. Please see our Qualifying a Listing Agent for help with this interviewing process.
It is interesting that in the real estate business, someone with many successfully closed transactions usually costs the same as someone who is inexperienced. Bringing that experience into the transaction could mean a higher price at the negotiating table, selling in less time, and with a minimum amount of hassle.
The sale of your home could very well be the most important financial transaction you have ever been involved with. The person you select can make it a satisfying and profitable activity, or a terrible experience. It is your home and your money. The choice of your real estate agent is up to you. Make the selection very carefully.